Journal «Angiology and Vascular Surgery» • 

2020 • VOLUME 26 • №3

Multiple embolism of arterial vessels of the systemic circulation: classification, clinical manifestations, and outcomes

Melnikov M.V., Sotnikov A.V., Kozhevnikov D.S.

Department of General Surgery, North-Western State Medical University named after I.M. Mechnikov under the RF Ministry of Public Health, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Embologenic arterial obstruction remains an extremely important problem of modern medicine. Emboli may affect virtually all arterial vessels of the greater circulation and in some cases arterial emboli may be multiple.

The purpose of the present study was to work out a classification of multiple arterial emboli.

Analysing the clinical material including over 30 years a total of 1804 patients with embolism of the aorta and major arteries of the limbs made it possible to define the range of the terms used and to submit for discussion a classification describing a situation where emboli affect simultaneously several arteries or occur repeatedly. Both cases involve several emboli migrating from the primary source into the arterial bed, therefore we suggest that all these emboli be called multiple.

Simultaneous multiple emboli were classified as combined, multifocal, and layered, with repeated emboli classified as preceding, recurrent, early and remote. Simultaneous emboli were observed in 91 (5%) patients, of these, in 22 – combined, in 49 – multifocal, in 19 – layered, and in 1 case – combined and multifocal. Repeated emboli were revealed at various terms and encountered virtually in each third patient. Overall mortality amongst the patients with embolism of the aorta and arteries of the limbs over 30 years amounted to 13%, having over the last decade decreased to 7.6%. Multiple arterial emboli significantly influenced the outcomes of treatment, with the mortality rate in combined emboli increasing virtually to 50% and that in multifocal and layered emboli exceeding 20% (p<0.05). Early recurrent emboli in the postoperative period were observed in 6.8% of patients, significantly deteriorating the prognosis (mortality – 49.2%). In the remote period, 22.4% of the patients were operated on for recurrent embolism of arteries of the extremities, with more than 25% of the patients having experienced emboli of cerebral or visceral arteries. Recurrent thromboembolic complications played a significant role in the thanatogenesis in each 4th patient.

KEY WORDS: emboli of the aorta and arteries of extremities, multiple and recurrent embolism, acute limb ischaemia, surgical treatment, prevention of relapses.

P. 15

« Back